Volunteers sought to join the new Mauldslie Woods Volunteering Team

Fancy some good healthy exercise while also helping manage and maintain local woodland, then why not volunteer for the new Mauldslie Woods Volunteering Team? September sees the start of a new volunteering group meeting up to get fresh air, learn new skills, make friends, have fun and get their hands dirty.

Mauldslie Woods (c) Archibald Photography Ltd
Mauldslie Woods (c) Archibald Photography Ltd

The Group will be meeting on the first Thursday of every month from 1st September onwards, at 10.15 am at Mauldslie Bridge, Rosebank.  The Group’s work will be carried out in Mauldslie Woods – nestled in the Clyde Valley between Rosebank and Garrion Bridge and containing remnants of the designed landscape of the now demolished Mauldslie Castle.

Mauldslie Woods is part of the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve. Scotland’s oldest and richest forest lies hidden in dramatic gorges in the Clyde Valley and these ancient woodlands have clung to these gorge sides for centuries, providing a sanctuary for a wealth of wildlife. Bright with flowers in the spring, in the autumn raspberry, blaeberry and brambles provide food for badgers, birds and people alike.

The volunteering work will contribute to an ongoing woodland management programme.  A typical day’s work might involve assisting with and learning skills in coppicing, rhododendron bashing, laying new path edges or building new tree enclosures to protect the parkland specimen trees. The group will finish for the day at 3pm.

Volunteers are asked to bring a packed lunch, waterproofs, lots of energy and enthusiasm. The ground will be wet and uneven so wellies or sturdy boots are essential. Tools and hot drinks will be provided.

The organiser of the group, Helen Thomson of Clydesdale Community Initiatives, said “Tools are provided, but you do need to come suitably dressed for outdoor work in all weathers with a packed lunch and be prepared to get dirty.  Support and advice will be provided throughout.  It’s a great help if volunteers can bring hand tools if they have some; bow saws, loppers etc.  As we will be running 8 sessions between September this year and next April, we are hoping to make a really positive impact on the woodland to improve access and also encourage wildlife and biodiversity.  Anyone interested in volunteering should register to attend with CCI by contacting colleen@cciweb.org.uk or call 01555 664211”.

These volunteering sessions are supported by South Lanarkshire Council Ranger Service.  Team Leader, Mike Brady, explains: “Anyone can volunteer. It doesn’t matter what experience you have, what skills you have, or how much time you can commit, everyone has something to give.  This work will make a vitally important contribution to the ongoing management of Mauldslie Woods”.

This project is part of the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) programme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The project is one of a number of projects focussing on the conservation of woodland and designed landscapes in the local area.  Running until 2018, CAVLP have 70 different projects to conserve the built and natural heritage of the area, increase community participation and landscape connection, improve access to and learning about the landscape and heritage of the Clyde and Avon Valleys and providing new training opportunities in local heritage skills.

Programme Manager, Donna Marshall, said: “You cannot put a value on time dedicated by volunteers.  Without their sacrifice projects such as the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership would struggle immensely. Whether it is helping to run events, carrying out research or even managing our woodland, the commitment of our volunteers is nothing short of inspirational.  By taking part in these sessions, you’ll be able to meet like-minded people who care about the Clyde Valley and want to make a difference.  It is also a great way of improving your physical health and mental wellbeing.”

Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Clydesdale Community Initiatives on 01555 664211.

Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership
www.clydeandavonvalley.org

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Fancy some good healthy exercise while also helping manage and maintain local woodland, then why not volunteer for the new Mauldslie Woods Volunteering Team? September sees the start of a …

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